7 November 2023

Member for Cootamundra invites local students to get creative with Vegemite

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke is celebrating Vegemite’s 100th birthday by hosting an art competition. Photo: Supplied.

To honour Vegemite’s 100th birthday, students of the Cootamundra electorate have been invited to showcase their artistic talents.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has invited the students in her electorate to participate in a Vegemite art competition.

“It’s a staple in homes across the country and has been for generations,” Ms Cooke said.

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“It’s been a consistent part of our lives throughout the years; who could forget the ‘Happy Little Vegemite’ jingle?

“What better way to celebrate this iconic and unique Australian spread than with a unique and creative competition?”

Ms Cooke has invited schools to join the fun and asked students to create a picture of what makes them ‘Happy Little Vegemites’.

An advertisement from <em>The Australian Women’s Weekly</em>, from 13 June 1942.

An advertisement from The Australian Women’s Weekly from 13 June 1942. Photo: National Museum Australia.

“I’ve written to schools across the electorate asking infants and primary school age students to take part, but if there’s any students or teachers who haven’t signed up but would like to get involved there’s still plenty of time to enter; simply contact my office and we will fill you in on all the details,” Ms Cooke said.

“One of my favourite things is Vegemite on toast – no butter. But I know there are some of you out there with some more adventurous taste combinations: Vegemite and meat pies, baked beans, pizza, peanut butter, and dare I say, chocolate and smoothies.

“However you enjoy it, let’s all raise a toast – with Vegemite on it of course – to this Aussie icon.”

Poster for Vegemite

Vegemite was formulated by chemist Cyril Percy Callister. Photo: National Museum Australia.

A brief history of Vegemite

Vegemite was born in 1923 in Melbourne when Australian food manufacturer Fred Walker asked Cyril Percy Callister, a trained chemist, to create a spread similar to the British Marmite.

Made from brewer’s yeast, Vegemite became an Australian culinary icon despite being owned by an American company for many decades.

The favourite Australian spread experienced a slow start but had its turning point in the 1930s when Walker secured the Australian rights to Kraft’s processed cheese and initiated a joint marketing venture with Vegemite.

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Vegemite became a household favourite during World War II when Marmite became unavailable and the Australian Army provided Vegemite to its troops.

Despite being acquired by American company Kraft in the mid 20th century, Vegemite secured its status as a distinctively ‘Australian’ culinary delight.

In 2017, Australia regained ownership of the famous spread when it was purchased by Bega Cheese.

Original Article published by Shri Gayathirie Rajen on Region Riverina.

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